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Best Pick: Kohaku-hada Lotion (Moisturising)

Best Pick Kohaku-hada Lotion (Moisturising)

Happy New Year everyone! My Christmas gift to myself, Netflix subscription, has brought productive activities, including writing reviews, to a grinding halt. I can barely be bothered to rustle up a proper dinner let alone formulate a coherent post about a beauty product that I have been using. Over the past 3 weeks, I have watched the whole of House of Cards, Marco Polo, Sherlock, and then 4 seasons of Friends. I’m now trying to wean myself off Netflix and make that concerted effort to get back to normal… Hence my first review of 2015.

There are a few budget lotions (or Japanese toners) I really enjoy using — Kohaku-hada Lotion (in Moisturising) is one of them. It reminds me of Rohto’s Hada-Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Light (the 2013 formula), but this is packed with a lot more hydrating ingredients. (I wrote a best pick review of the regular version last year in 2014!)

They are really quite similar in many ways — they both are free of alcohol, fragrance, and silicones, and they look almost indistinguishable from each other. If you like Hada-Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Light (or find the regular version a tad too rich) then I’d hazard a guess you’ll like this even better. It’s really effective at giving dehydrated skin a big boost of moisture and leaving the skin feeling softer and more supple. It feels more lightweight than the regular Hada-Labo lotion, but also more hydrating than the Light formula.

Best Pick Kohaku-hada Lotion (Moisturising) inside

Like Hada-Labo, it contains a high percentage of hyaluronic acid to plump up the skin, but it’s not really the star ingredient in this show. Kohaku-hada Lotion is formulated with amber extract and powder (kohaku means “amber”). Amber is said to strengthen the skin’s barrier function and it also helps protect against free radical damages. I’ll be honest; I’m not sure whether amber actually does anything for the skin — my skin’s barrier function is fine and anti-ageing isn’t a benefit that will show a visible amount of difference in the short-term. But it also contains a whole whack load of moisture-binding ingredients like rice ceramide, honey, collagen, lecithin, and placental protein. So all very good indeed.

Best Pick Kohaku-hada Lotion (Moisturising) 1

I have to admit there is nothing particularly mind-blowing about the lotion — it doesn’t do much more than hydrating on my non-sensitive skin — but it does a really good job at that without the leaving the skin feeling sticky, even when I accidentally use too much. I also find its rather unusual text print packaging design ridiculously appealing! Quite possibly my most favourite lotion packaging for budget buys. It’s beautifully put together and has ingredients to help protect and hydrate the skin. Overall, it’s a definite winner.

You can find the 220ml bottle of Kohaku-hada Lotion (Moisturising) for ¥760 in Japan.

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26 Comments on Best Pick: Kohaku-hada Lotion (Moisturising)

  1. (years later!)
    Thanks for all this information!
    Struggling to find this brand in drugstores around Japan. Granted, I haven’t looked in Tokyo yet where I’m going soon.
    To your knowledge this brand is still going and should be available in Tokyo? In large drugstores like Matsumoto or Mega Donquiote?

    • It’s a very tiny, niche brand so it has always been difficult to find. The lotion was reformulated last year — I haven’t tried it. I’ve seen the brand in some Matsukiyo and Sun Drug in Tokyo.

      • Thanks for your reply.
        I actually emailed the company about their stockists and they helpfully replied. Mostly just a couple of tax-free shopping stores in Ginza (LAOX).
        The updated ingredient list still looks pretty good so I’m giving it a shot! Certainly costs more though at ¥1860.

  2. Really interesting review! How do you think this would compare to Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium… is it better? Also, I’d love to know what your HG go to lotion is right now. 🙂

      • Thanks for that info! I’m also looking for a lotion that would be ideal for the 7 skin layering method… do you think Kohaku would be suitable for this, or are there better hydrating lotions out there?

        • I tried the Korean’s 7 skin method (not for me, personally) and in my experience, it’s best done a formula that’s very lightweight and watery. Skin feels sticky and overloaded very quickly with that many layers, especially it’s rich.

          • Ah that makes a lot of sense, and thanks for the heads up! I’m curious to try out the 7 skin method, so I’ll definitely try to find watery/lighter formulas.

            My skin is super oily so the idea of being oily AND sticky is a big nope for me! 😛

            • Unless your skin is dry/dehydrated, there’s really no benefits in the 3/5/7 skin method. It’s simply an (a lot more time-consuming) alternative to using a normal moisturiser. From what I’ve seen and read online so far, those who really like it seem to be “Korean skincare routine” fans who have dry skin.

            • Hm, interesting… I’m oily + sensitive (my dermatitis is under control thanks to trying out Asian skincare 2 yrs ago). Also, my skin improved a lot after using products w/ hydrating ingredients, so I’ve always assumed that’s a sign I’m dehydrated too. I’m still gonna try out the 7 skin method b/c I’m curious; however, If it doesn’t work/wastes product for no reason then I’ll consider the method ‘mythbusted’.

              I’ve been looking around at different options for lotions to use w/ this method (been looking on the Asian Beauty reddit), and for some reason the AB reddit mostly focuses on Korean brands. I’m more interested in finding a hydrating watery lotion that’s Japanese (I’ve enjoyed using Hada Labo), and it makes me more curious re what’s available in the Japanese market. Hehe so I’m really glad your site exists… it totally makes my hunt for a watery Japanese toner much easier!

  3. I don’t know what it is about this post, but I’ve received updates from my email subscription with this very same post numerous times in the past year. Now, its 2016 and I’m still getting a new email about this, your 2015 “New Year” update about Kohaku-hada Lotion (Moisturizing). Haha.

    • So sorry about that! It must have ben such a nuisance having to see the same post in your inbox so many time!

      I’ve just moved my site’s feed off Feedburner service, so you (and everyone subscribed) should no longer be getting any email updates from now on. If you still wish be notified of site updates through email, you can subscribe to the new direct feed using the left side bar.

  4. Thanks for the review! I know I’m super late in replies, but I absolutely LOVE all the Netflix shows that you mentioned. House of Cards and Sherlock being my favourite. Black Mirror is soooo good!! So is The Fall with Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. But I probably shouldn’t be providing you with more shows to watch, because I don’t want you to stop writing reviews. haha…

    I have fallen in love with the Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion (regular) after you recommended it and it is now a staple of mine. I actually don’t find that sticky at all and I even use it in the summer as I have slightly dehydrated skin. I’m definitely going to try this Kuhaku-hada one next. Does the Extra Moisturizing version contains far superior ingredients for moisturization? If not, then I might just stick to the regular version so I may use it for the summer time.

    Do you put this type of hyaluronic acid lotion on before or after your acidic/exfoliating products? I’m using the Paula’s Choice Clear regular strength 2% BHA. I’m always a little confused, since lotions are supposed to be like toners and hence, be applied right after cleansing. But since this is a moisturizing lotion…I don’t know. Please educate me. Thanks in advance!!

    • I find the Extra Moisturising version far too rich for my normal-ish skin.

      I know some people think very long 10-step routine is the way to go, but I think it’s just over the top and very redundant. Personally, I feel that if you need to layer several serums and moisturisers on a regular basis in order to see benefits, you just need to pick more effective products. I use BHA liquid as a lotion — I use one or the other.

      • Thanks for your reply. Although I don’t have a 10 step routine, I’m definitely guilty of layering way too much products on. I need to try using the BHA alone without lotion before or after it, and see if that will make any difference. Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. Here’s the same)) The whole of House of Cards, Suits, Downton Abbey and Prison Break! Oh that was marathon.. Congratulations with getting back to normal, I’m also working on it )
    Happy New Year and thank you for the new nice lotion!

  6. Question, when shopping at Rakuten how do you know if the seller only ships in Japan and not internationally? I know some sellers make it clear in their store info pages but for others I have no idea if they are going to ship internationally? Thanks.

    • All the shops that are searchable on Rakuten Global Market site ship internationally. I also link to ones that do, generally ones that will ship via SAL/Airmail when requested.

  7. I’m going off topic, but have you tried the “metabolizers” from ÍPSA? I’m totally in love with them!

  8. Oh so the light doesnt have alcohol? I thought that was what made it lighter which is why I avoided it

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